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Old 03-09-2019, 10:13 PM   #1
adblue
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Default Hey total newby here

is this the right place for this?
So I'm relatively new to tabletop RPGs, and I'm considering trying GURPS and I have a few questions. I GM for DnD a lot but I'm tired of the fantasy setting, and my attempts to branch out into other genres have sort of devolved into calvinball, and I heard GURPS was a good system for somebody like me. I'm planning on doing a dieselpunk/Golden age of comics/Indiana Jones/Raygun Gothic, type setting for my next game, Is GURPS a good system for this setting?, If so what supplements should I consider getting?, Do you have any miscellaneous tips?, Is it pronounced Gurps or Jerps?

Thanks in advance! sorry if I posted in the wrong place!
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:38 PM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Hey total newby here

You seem to be posting in the right place for your questions.

GURPS definitely could be a good fit to the setting, insofar as you've described it. You may want to look for fitness to what you look for in a system besides setting support, though. I'm definitely pro-GURPS, but there are very different games that could also do your setting.

It's fairly likely you want GURPS High Tech, because that's where all the general (real-world) gear of the dieselpunk era would be found.

I'm not sure what the best source would be for raygun gothic elements. Tales of the Solar Patrol comes to mind perhaps, but you'd be mining parts out of a whole setting that you mostly wouldn't be using. You could, of course, invent your own stats for the superscience bits. Ultratech, which is roughly the SF gear book, may not be very helpful.

If 'golden age of comics' includes super powers you might want GURPS Powers (for rules support) and/or GURPS Supers (mainly for genre advice, though it has some rule bits that could be useful). You don't necessarily need either, though, you can pull off some super stuff, especially 'low' supers, with the Basic Set.

I'm pretty sure it's pronounced GURPS.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:44 PM   #3
adblue
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Default Re: Hey total newby here

Thanks! I guess to clarify my setting I'm going for more what TV tropes calls "Two fisted Tales". What books should I have on hand regardless of setting?
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:57 PM   #4
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Hey total newby here

Quote:
Originally Posted by adblue View Post
is this the right place for this?
So I'm relatively new to tabletop RPGs, and I'm considering trying GURPS and I have a few questions. I GM for DnD a lot but I'm tired of the fantasy setting, and my attempts to branch out into other genres have sort of devolved into calvinball, and I heard GURPS was a good system for somebody like me. I'm planning on doing a dieselpunk/Golden age of comics/Indiana Jones/Raygun Gothic, type setting for my next game, Is GURPS a good system for this setting?, If so what supplements should I consider getting?, Do you have any miscellaneous tips?, Is it pronounced Gurps or Jerps?

Thanks in advance! sorry if I posted in the wrong place!
YOu've not posted in the wrong place. :)

Welcome to the GURPS FORUMS. What you're about to undertake will be true of any person who desires to GM using ANY game system - the understanding of the rules.

Based upon what you're looking to run, I would suggest GURPS STEAMPUNK rules might get you in the ballpark of what you want for your campaign. If you're looking for a horror like flavor for the game, you might consider GURPS HORROR. GURPS ACTION 2 Exploits might also be worth considering should you like the genre of quick action style adventures.

GURPS ULTRATECH helps with the sci-fi aspects of the game - but the ray guns and such are already given in GURPS CHARACTERS book. If you're interested in being a gearhead and designing your own ray guns or what have you, then you might find GURPS PYRAMID articles to be worth picking up.

Now - everything that anyone might suggest (Myself included!) hinges just on what your wallet can afford. Me? I've been involved with GURPS since 1986, and have a few of the books floating about my house (don't mention I said a few, or my wife's eyes will roll and she'll make a silent motion behind my back to imply a LOT). Then again, she's been gaming with the crew for a long time herself, so she'd better not complain!!!

In any event, I digress. GURPS BASIC SET: Characters and GURPS BASIC SET: Campaigns was designed with an eye towards giving you EVERYTHING you need to run any kind of campaign your devious mind can envision (I mention devious only in that I'm hoping you ARE devious and enjoy giving your players a run for the money!).

But, sourcebooks? Those both entertain you as the reader, and offer you the ability to save time by not having to research information that might be useful for your games.

Based on the following:

dieselpunk - Steampunk probably comes close to what you want, but if not, you might want to be more specific.

Golden age of comics = superheroes? If yes, then perhaps GURPS POWERS (although think of GURPS POWERS as a CAD like environment to help you DESIGN what you want rather than a "How to" with all the stuff you want (although it has examples!)


Indiana Jones = action adventure set in the pulp era? Then might I suggest GURPS CLIFF HANGERS? It was originally published for GURPS 3rd edition Revised (what we now refer to as Classic GURPS), but it is still useful for a 4e campaign.


Raygun = Sci-fi? You may want to pick up GURPS ULTRATECH for the sci-fi aspect.

Gothic as a horror style, invoking fear and the like? Gonna have to recommend GURPS HORROR. It has more than a few recommendations involving Tropes of Horror, how to perhaps enhance it for your campaigns etc.

If I might be so bold? Right now, I'm running a GURPS HORROR like campaign set in the year 1920 when it started out, and the players got a chance to do some "sort of down time" gaming in that 3 years pass while the players are involved in "The Black School". It is a school in which the Devil undertakes to teach the student anything they wish to learn - with the proviso that the Devil will never speak in your presence (using letters of fire floating in the air as teaching method!) and that all of this is cost free with one minor proviso...

The last one who leaves the school grounds owes his soul to the Devil. I'm using GURPS THAUMATOLOGY, GURPS MAGIC, GURPS PULP GUNS, a few of my own home brew weapons using a spreadsheet that uses real world data on bullet mass, muzzle velocity etc), as well as GURPS HORROR. In addition to that, I'm using two books from the Call of Cthulhu series that detail the 1920's time period. Granted, I may have snuck in some material from DRAGONQUEST into the magic items and spells - but hey, GURPS allows for the seamless adaptation of other game ideas within its structure.

I do have one warning for you however. NEVER plan on things working out exactly as you expect. Case in point? I had one campaign years ago in which a player character was chosen to be a King's Champion in a trial by combat situation (think Medieval Knights style campaign). The contestants were allowed but a sword and shield in their trial by combat. One contestant (the npc) looked like he was down and out - so the player decided to throw caution to the wind and showboat in what should have been the final blow. Instead, he sort of messed up - and both he and the NPC were reduced to sub-zero hit points. In GURPS, that is not a DEATH situation, but a situation where both had to roll to remain conscious. As fate would have it (via die rolls) both characters dropped to the ground in the same second - unconscious. Both lay there bleeding to death, when the King waved away the physicians who would have gone to both men saying "Larani's will be praised. The first to die will be determined to be the loser, and thus in the wrong" (or words to that effect). Then the unthinkable happened. BOTH characters survived the blood loss and stopped bleeding despite the NPC being near to death!

The details that can be had within the game are largely dependent upon you as the GM, and the imaginations of your players. GURPS encourages that by its very nature in character creation rules. Its combat system can be as detailed or as quickly played out as you wish. It can be sterile or it can be graphic. It will all depend upon you.

Truth is? I've played many years (1980 on through 1986) trying to find the one game system that did what I wanted. Then Man-To-Man came out, quickly followed by GURPS. That I've stayed with it all these years is either a testament to how hidebound my gaming crew is, or how good GURPS really is as a role playing vehicle.

Want to play a horror themed game? GURPS has you covered. Want to play a game based upon a book series like the Deryin? GURPS can cover it. Want to play a Call of Cthulhu style campaign? Yup, Got you covered. Want to do MONSTERS INC (look at GURPS MONTER HUNTERS). What, still itching to find GURPS limits? DUNE (either the book or the Movie)? Yup. Star Wars (Well, that one is tricky, but yeah, although SJGames didn't do a specific Star Wars source book). How about Sword and Sandal campaigns? I've been running GURPS ARCANUM (google THE ARCANUM by Bard Games) for a long time now. GURPS HARN (Google HARNWORLD) - yup. Want to do Modern Fantasy? Done that too. Done Time Travel.

Friend? You are about to find out just how versatile GURPS really is. Best of all? You can always ask a question here saying Hey, how about TRAVELLER (yeah, we got that too) or "Hey, I want to try this out, any ideas?)" and someone will be quick to help.

Welcome to the Forums. :)
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:58 PM   #5
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Hey total newby here

While I'm thinking about it adblue? You might want to set up your profile so that you can receive private messages or even emails. Sometimes, people are willing to offer ideas and/or help on a more private level. ;)

That's up to you however.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:01 PM   #6
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Hey total newby here

One that hasn't been mentioned yet, but that can be useful, is GURPS Martial Arts. This covers all unarmed combat skills and skills for combat with muscle powered weapons, from Roman gladiators to Japanese karateka to pragmatic military skills. You don't need it if you're satisfied to run fairly straightforward combat, but it has a lot of added options if you want to go into detail.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:08 PM   #7
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Hey total newby here

Okay, so that means that Powers and Supers are unlikely to be needed.

Honestly, you probably don't need anything except the Basic Set and probably High Tech. (Maybe plus Pulp Guns if you're into an even richer period weapon list.) And some people would recommend not diving in with more material than you actually need...

But since you're asking, some other books you might find useful:
-Martial Arts, good for any game where muscle-powered violence has a part.
-Gun Fu or Tactical Shooting for more gunfighting details, respectively in high-flying action and high-realism flavors.
-GURPS Social Engineering for expansion of the basic social skill rules.
-GURPS Mysteries if that seems relevant to your campaign ideas.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:21 PM   #8
adblue
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Default Re: Hey total newby here

Ok! I'll look into all of this, thanks for the advice!
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:33 PM   #9
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Hey total newby here

I don't recommend tactical shooting for this kind of campaign.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:36 PM   #10
Agemegos
 
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Default Re: Hey total newby here

Welcome aboard, adblue!

GURPS is an enormously flexible and versatile RPG. Even without supplements it can probably handle all the content of the genre and style of adventure that you indicated — a bit of Indiana Jones and a bit of Doc Savage and and bit of Captain Nemo and a bit of the Phantom and a bit of Tarzan and a bit of Mandrake the Magician. It is almost certainly a good system for the setting.

There remains, however, the question of whether GURPS is a good match for your style of play.
  • GURPS tends to be a bit detail-oriented, which is fine if you like that sort of thing (we wouldn't still be here unless we did) but not for everyone. One of the most important things you learn to do when setting up a campaign in GURPS is to decide which areas to treat with the detail of optional rules and which areas to gloss over a bit with the reduced detail of the basic rules and detail-reducing options. Don't try to focus on everything at once! If you want to play the sort of game in which a character has "a revolver" don't weigh your game down with the rules that distinguish between a .455 Webley and a Smith & Wesson .44-40. It's all there. Don't use the bits that won't help your game.
  • Some games are designed to determine which player should get to choose what happens next. Some games are designed to make the course of an adventure turn out as though it were written by a TV-script hack, or by the Coen Brothers, or by H.P. Lovecraft. Some games are designed so as to produce results that are dramatic. Some are designed to present the players with an interesting tactical challenge. GURPS is designed to simulate alternative realities. If you ask GURPS "what would happen if a man of Bronze twice as strong as an Olympic sprinter swung a demon's double-sized sword at a centaur armoured with NIJ Level IIIa barding?" it will answer that question, not give you the most dramatic result, the result that R.E. Howard would have written, or a chance for a player to narrate how his character achieved a decisive victory.

I would suggest that the GURPS core — Characters and Campaigns — probably contains everything you need for the setting you described. In fact, it contains a lot more than you need, because it covers many other settings as well. There are a lot of supplements that might be a lot of fun to add in — GURPS Martial Arts if you want to go into detail with hand-to-hand fighting (and not just the well-known Asian martial arts we habitually think of), GURPS Gun-fu or GURPS Tactical Shooting, GURPS Horror, GURPS Action, even the 3rd-ed product GURPS Cliffhangers, which is still very useful. But you don't have to jump in with both feet to get started. I would suggest that you start by downloading the free GURPS Lite PDF from Warehouse 23. Try generating a couple of characters. Come back here and ask for advice if anything's not obvious. And then put the two characters you have designed through, say, something like the shootout in Marion's bar in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Make allowances for the fact that everything will get smoother as you become more familiar. See how it feels.
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Last edited by Agemegos; 03-14-2019 at 10:14 PM.
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